A Little Christmas Chuck
Chuck Berry & Little Richard probably had more to do with the advancement of Rock ‘n Roll than any other early artists … particularly when it came to influencing the young English Rock ‘n Rollers who recycled American Rock ‘n Roll back to the US during the English Rock Music Invasion beginning in the late ’60s. It was obvious (when the young Brits first became fans) they wanted to “look” like Elvis and “Rebel Without A Cause” James Dean, but they wanted to play guitar like Chuck and scream like Richard. Chuck Berry’s electric guitar literally changed the overall direction of Rock ‘n Roll.
There is hardly a Rock ‘n Roll guitar player of any era who does not credit Chuck Berry as a major influence. The Beatles, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones have often expressed their admiration for the creative lyrics and guitar magic of Chuck Berry.
Chuck Berry was the composer of nearly all his Rock ‘n Roll hits. However, this particular song was a collaboration (of sorts) between Chuck and the composer of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Johnny Marks (with Marvin Brody). The song is a 12-bar blues similar to Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and melodically identical to Chuck’s “Little Queenie.” All releases of the song by Chuck Berry credit: C. Berry Music – M. Brodie. However, all subsequent covers of the song are credited to Johnny Marks & Marvin Brody.
The slight controversy aside, this 1958 Christmas release by Chuck Berry is one fun song. And this video of that song, created over 60 years later, and first released in October of this year, surpasses that fun. So, let’s get to this Collectible.
Wishing you a Very Berry Christmas, here’s a little Christmas Chuck for you with the new official video of “Run Rudolph Run.”
Thank yous and video credit to: Fantoons Animation Studio, Universal Music Enterprises
9 thoughts on “Collectibles: A Very Berry Christmas!”
Jay this is a good holiday season post. Fun!
Steve ~ The thing I find amazing about “Run Rudolph Run” (aka: ” Run Run Rudolph”) is the numbers of covers it’s received. Even Seattle’s Dave Grohl & The Foo Fighters have released a new cover … along with Kelly Clarkson, Country star Luke Bryan, rockers Cheap Trick, and in 2013 singer Whitney Wolanin’s recording reached the highest chart position of any cover … reaching #2 on Billboard’s AC chart. But in actuality, that’s just the beginning. Jimmy Buffett, Billy idol, Sheryl Crow and Dwight Yoakam are among the tons of other artists who have recorded a cover version. It appears Rudolph is going to be running for a long long time.
“Run Rudolph Run” was actually intended as the B-side of this Chuck Berry record release. Back on Dec. 22, 2018 Mike Cherry had an interesting PSM Post on that original A-side. That Christmas song also features another tremendous musician, Johnnie Johnson, heard on those early Berry recordings. I discovered this fantastic piano player on the B-side of Chuck’s 1955 hit “Maybelline” – “Wee Wee Hours”. Johnnie’s work with Berry led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ~ Here’s a link to Mike Cherry’s 2018 Post about that original Christmas A-side.
Thanks Jay. Interesting. Lots of hidden or unrecognized talent when one goes looking for it.
Steve ~ Here’s Chuck and Johnnie Johnson with his wonderful piano work on “Wee Wee Hours”:
Man, that guy can play one mean piano!
I prefer this performance of the song. Eric Clapton, Johnnie Johnson, Robert Cray, Keith Richards, and Chuck Berry. Hold on to your hat when Eric launches.
I love this version of “Wee Wee Hours” too. From the “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n Roll” tour in Oct. 1986. I’m a super fan of Eric and his amazing guitar (right there with Stevie Ray Vaughan on my personal list of super great guitar players). But I’m also happy that I didn’t have to wait until 1986 to experience the magic of Johnnie Johnson at the piano. That original session of “Wee Wee Hours” in Chicago on May 21, 1955 introduced me to his keyboard shenanigans, 31 years before “Hail!”
Thanks Martin, for reminding me of this great concert footage. I never want to pass up a chance to hear Clapton play.
I have seen Eric in concert more than 10 times and each time not believing what I saw him do on the guitar. Anyway, here is something you may enjoy. He starts playing the song about 37 seconds into the video.
Martin ~ Well, somehow we’ve moved on … from the R&R guitar player who ostensibly started it all (C. Berry) to arguably his premiere disciple, Eric Clapton … which is certainly just fine with me! The cable TV channel, AXS TV, periodically airs the Eric Clapton “Crossroads Music Festival”, showcasing a variety of exceptional guitar players selected by Eric. He trades guitar licks with nearly all of them, but also a section of these festivals is devoted to featuring Eric and his guitar. There were “festivals” in 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2019 … all of which I’ve watched multiple times & each time I’m continually amazed by this man’s superior guitar playing talent. Thanks Chuck, for inspiring this guy and thanks, Eric for obviously loving what you do and giving fans of high caliber musicianship amazing examples of what exactly that entails.